This is Dr O. S. K. Raju, a non-practicing medical graduate and a man who is madly in love with India and its sacred geography...so much so that I vowed to not to leave shores of India without seeing the entire subcontinent first! Yes, I have not left this country so far and my passport is being renewed unstamped at each renewal without any shame!
To know why I am writing this page, you may need to know a little about me and those events in my life that lead me to develop this portal.
My birth place is a town called Nellore on the banks of holy river pinakini. My birth year was 1971. My first five years of life were spent in Nellore and Madras. Then the next seven years were spent in two districts of Rayalaseema in AP - Kurnool and Kadapa. Hailing from the southern region of AP, which enjoys the spiritual culture of Tamilnadu, the bug of getting attracted to faith and sacred geography of India was innate in me!
In 1982, I was sent for high schooling to a wonderful place called Sainik School Korukonda in Vizianagaram district of north coastal Andhra Pradesh. Seven years of shuttling the entire coast of AP on Indian railways was my first broad contact with the socio-cultural fabric of India.
After plus two, a year was wasted on IIT dream and I was in 1990, by the time I wrote EAMCET. I was lucky to get admission in both medical and engineering streams. I chose medicine and it was in Guntur, while pursuing MBBS, that I decided to become an IAS officer to see and serve India in a better position. Finishing medicine, I was in full swing preparing for civils. Then I went on to marry and did get real deep into life and related twists. I cleared prelims in the first attempt and scored well in mains too. In the second attempt, I narrowly missed clearing mains. By then, it was becoming difficult to sustain a married and student life. I thought that another attempt would be a waste of time, considering the post marriage situations. Yes, I was away from clinics for more than 3 years. Meanwhile, I acquired some computer skills too, while using microsoft's windows 95 and the so called dialup internet to prepare better for Civil Services. With these acquired skills, I chose to become an editor for a leading medical portal based in Hyderabad. Added to that, the newly acquired subjects due to civils preparation including sociology and geography have broadened my thoughts and I was willing to experiment on any domain for livelihood!
That was the end of a dream called Civil Services and may be a direct fallout of my untimely marriage!
First, it was medical content and applications on windows. During these stints, the highly contagious open source attracted me to the world of Unix. Soon I gave up my job and started my own firm on content and media works for medical and pharma. Very soon, I got better in the intersection of content, design, web servers and open source CMSs. In no time I shuttered my firm and started to consult many in CMS matters.
It was at this time that I looked back and saw where I was! I questioned myself as to what good I have done beyond working from 9 to 5, akin to majority of my colleagues!
Then there is always that guilt of leaving a noble profession, which haunted me for many years while I was sitting before a Thinkpad. Soon it stuck to me! The reason behind the course of events in my life including my interest in India, especially on the sacred geography of this country may have been the precursors for the development of templesofindia.net
Then this journey began to start a website on Indian Temples!
First I registered this domain in 2009. The next obstacle was to find time and money to start this website. Seeking help for this kind of venture was unacceptable for my age and associations. Interest in temples is an accepted 50+ need in our culture. Meanwhile, my interest in India grew further as I travelled across India enjoying the cultural and sacred layers of our motherland.
By 2012, I had a basic website here. Every night I would think of adding something to this site and I would fail the next day. By 2014, I along with my family had visited all Jyothirlingas and most of Shakthipeethas in India. Except for northeast, Bengal and Kerala, my family, which includes my wife and two sons had seen most of India. As my eldest son neared his class ten, we decided to stop going on trips for another three years.
Despite these sacred journeys, something was still haunting me! Very soon I have realised that, I had nothing but India and my unfinished work at this website, in my mind, whenever I closed my eyes at night.
From 2015, I started to work seriously on the structure of this site. By mid-2015, everything became very clear to me! My interests and skills falling in place did not happen accidentally.
This drive is divine and my efforts are minimal period.
It's 2016 and I am just ready to launch this portal.
Dr. Orsu Srinivasa Kumar Raju.